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Broken Bonds: Understanding the Experience of Pet Relinquishment

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The Psychology of the Human-Animal Bond

Abstract

Every year in the United States, thousands of pets (namely dogs and cats) are relinquished to animal shelters. Although there are a multitude of reasons why people relinquish their pets, the recent economic downturn and rising number of home foreclosures are likely to result in greater numbers of pets being relinquished than ever before (“One million pets,” 2009; Schultz & Verdon, 2008). Some pet owners simply find themselves incapable of properly caring for their pets and may have no choice but to relinquish them. Thus, there are cases in which pet relinquishment is unfortunate but perhaps unavoidable. However, there still appear to be many cases in which pets are relinquished rather casually as if they were disposable objects.

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Correspondence to Bruce S. Sharkin .

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Sharkin, B.S., Ruff, L.A. (2011). Broken Bonds: Understanding the Experience of Pet Relinquishment. In: Blazina, C., Boyraz, G., Shen-Miller, D. (eds) The Psychology of the Human-Animal Bond. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-9761-6_16

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